The Pros and Cons of Single Board Computers

A single board computer is basically a complete computer system set into a single circuit board. Memory, storage, a CPU, and even ports like HDMI, USB, and Ethernet are all part of the single board computer design.

As these devices continue to grow in popularity, it is important to know what they bring to the table. Here are the things to like and the things that aren’t so great about using single board computers.

Pro: Cost-Effective

When considering a single board computer from a vendor like RS, there is little doubt that one of the biggest benefits is its cost-effectiveness. Sure, it has many technological applications, but the ability to buy single board computers for relatively cheap is one of the most appealing aspects.

Being cost-effective while offering all of the same components and uses that a desktop computer offers provides greater flexibility. Single board computers can fit any number of applications and purposes while also being replaced effortlessly. Being cost-effective makes them a more ideal option in the industrial sector, in education, and even for personal home use in its various forms.

Con: Limited Hardware Expansion

Though single board computers have proven to be quite versatile, there are some natural limitations given their size. For instance, single board computers are somewhat limited when it comes to expanding certain hardware components. There are ports available but nowhere near as many as would be included in a desktop computer.

If you require rapid scalability, single board computers aren’t necessarily the best option. Specific applications can become hindered when using single board computers in a way that would not have been a worry with desktop computers. For less expansive uses, single board computers are more than fine for general applications and uses.

Pro: Low Power Usage

In this day and age, the majority of people are looking to cut down on power consumption. That power consumption has an impact on the environment, thus increasing the carbon footprint. That is one serious benefit of single board computers: limited power use. Compared to other devices, especially desktop computers, single board computers use far less energy.

You won’t have to worry about your electric bill creeping up when using a single board computer. They have been designed to be energy efficient, which makes them great for battery-powered or even embedded applications. Using less power also ensures that they remain upright and durable, providing a much longer shelf life.

Con: No Standardization

When you buy a desktop computer, you are generally choosing between not only two brands but two operating systems: Windows and Mac iOS. The limited variety allows consumers to make a more effective choice without having to know the product backward and forward. Single board computers come in a huge array of choices, which can make things a bit confusing.

Single board computers come in different interfaces, form factors, and specifications. While that can be great for those who know precisely what they are looking for, it can certainly be confusing to those with limited tech skills.

Pro: Community Support

While single board computers are not necessarily popular in a mainstream sense, there is something to be said about the community support offered. Most single board computers out there have a large, active community of programmers, enthusiasts, and users available to communicate with.

Having access to that kind of support can be invaluable. Even if you don’t have a problem, tutorials and documentation will be made available to help even the most amateur of users become better acquainted. When something does come up, there is a litany of support and assistance options as well.